Displaying items by tag: ceasefire
Psalm 122:6 tells us to pray for the peace of Jerusalem. Currently Israel is undergoing significant upheaval whilst still facing threats from Palestinians in Gaza.
Having seen 11 days of relative peace following a ceasefire agreed between Israeli and Palestinian forces, the Israeli military confirmed an aircraft attack in the Gaza Strip on Wednesday 16th June, retaliating against incendiary balloons deployed by Hamas.
The attack comes barely two days after the ousting of Israel's former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The attack reportedly targeted Hamas armed compounds in response to incendiary balloons that were deployed from the area. The balloons caused 10 fires in fields of southern Israel, Reuters reported.
An unwieldy coalition calling itself “Change” has removed Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s longest-serving prime minister, after his most recent 12-year run. The eight-party coalition ranges from ultra-right religious nationalists to the secular hard-right, through the centre-right and residue of Israel’s left, to ally for the first time with an Arab Islamist party.
The new government will be led initially by Naftali Bennett, a champion of Jewish settlement. He is opposed to any Palestinian state and wants to annex most of the occupied West Bank and stands to the right of Netanyahu.
Yair Lapid, a former TV anchor and voice of liberal secular Israelis, whose party came second to Netanyahu’s Likud, is supposed to take over from Bennett as premier in 2023 and has provided what glue the coalition has.
Netanyahu’s removal from office has been met with dismay by some evangelical Christian groups whilst others have reaffirmed their support for Israel and a desire to stay out of day-to-day politics.
Meanwhile, Netanyahu continues to challenge the legitimacy a the newly formed Israeli coalition, calling it the result of “the greatest election fraud” in the history of democracy.
Pray: that His peace may reign over the land of Israel (Psalm 122:6)
Pray: for Naftali Bennett as the new leader of the Israeli Government. Pray@ that God will Provide him and the Government with the knowledge needed during these most difficult of times.
Pray: that the ceasefire may endure and that a peaceful resolution to this complex conflict may still be found.
Sources / More: The Financial Times, USA Today,
Armenia has begun handing over liberated territory to Azerbaijan as part of a peace accord that ended six weeks of fierce fighting over the Nagorno-Karabakh region. Residents of Azerbaijan's Kalbajar district have been occupied by Armenian forces for decades. Now they begin a mass exodus of the mountainous province in the days leading up to the official withdrawal day at the end of November. Some set their homes on fire rather than leave them for Azerbaijanis. A Russian peacekeeping contingent has set up checkpoints and positions as part of the terms that Armenia yields territory which Azerbaijan's forces gained in the fighting. Putin told his Azerbaijani counterpart to take care of churches, monasteries and shrines in areas that Azerbaijan gets under this cease-fire agreement. Moscow's peacekeeping mission, which the military said included soldiers who previously were stationed in Syria, comprises some 2,000 troops for a renewable five-year mission.
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.
Eight armed drones and three ballistic missiles hit Riyadh, the Saudi capital, on 24 June. On 22 June a Saudi-led coalition had announced both sides intended to meet in an attempt to re-establish a 2019 deal that ended earlier fighting. Tensions between the two former allies in Yemen's war has surged after the expiry last month of the six-week ceasefire prompted by the pandemic. The Saudi-led intervention in Yemen has killed tens of thousands of people and pushed the country to the brink of famine. The media reporting on the most recent attack stated, ‘The Houthis said they had hit the Saudi defence ministry and a military base, while a Saudi-led military coalition said it had shot a missile down, making no reference to targets’. The area is currently quiet.
Libya, a major oil producer, has been mired in turmoil since 2011 when Muammar Gaddafi was toppled in a NATO-backed uprising. In the first week of June the warring sides began new ceasefire talks in Libya. On 14 June the Turkish foreign minister and his Russian counterpart decided to put off the talks during a phone call; however, they said that it was important to prevent another failed ceasefire. Pray that there will be constructive positive talks for a lasting ceasefire without any more postponements. Pray for a spirit of unity to flow through all communication between the Iranian foreign minister, Turkish president Erdogan, and Russian president Putin. Pray also for an end to the heavy clashes that erupted recently despite a unilateral ceasefire proposal by Egypt.
A ceasefire few expected to last is holding in Idlib, for now - but the last rebel-held area in northwest Syria is bracing itself for the expected onslaught of the deadly coronavirus. The 5 March truce between Russia and Turkey halted a dangerous escalation of nine punishing years of war in Syria, but Idlib's breathing space is fraught with fear of the new enemy. The health system has been destroyed by bombing by Russian and Syrian warplanes. Nearly a million displaced people, sheltering inside flimsy tents, or on open ground, have few defences against the powerful Covid-19. ‘There's a humanitarian and political imperative for a complete, immediate nationwide ceasefire throughout Syria’, said the UN special envoy, in his recent briefing to the UN Security Council.
Days after the UN called for a halt to fighting in Yemen amid the coronavirus pandemic, a two-week ceasefire was declared by the Saudi-UAE coalition. But the Houthis said they would keep fighting unless a years-long siege on the impoverished nation is lifted. The conflict has killed over 100,000 people and pushed millions to the verge of famine. The vulnerable impoverished people now have their first coronavirus case, and the country is now bracing itself for the pandemic. Continue to pray for a de-escalation in the fighting, widely seen as a proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran, and for the Houthis to join the UN-sponsored talks for a settlement to the five-year conflict. Pray particularly for God to soften the heart of Mohammed al-Bukhaiti, the Houthi spokesman.
13,000 people have died since fighting began between pro-Russian separatists and Ukrainian soldiers in 2014. On 10 December 2019 Russia and Ukraine made progress towards restoring peace in eastern Ukraine, at a Paris summit mediated by Germany and France. A joint communique stated, ‘The sides commit to a full and comprehensive implementation of a cease-fire, strengthened by the implementation of all necessary support measures, before the end of the year 2019’. A prisoner exchange was also agreed. Angela Merkel said the meeting gave renewed momentum to reviving a 2015 Minsk peace agreement that had stalled. Please pray that nothing will prevent the withdrawal of heavy weapons, the restoration of Kyiv's control over its borders, and wider autonomy plus local elections for the separatist regions. The last time the four national leaders gathered in this format was in 2016.
On 17 August, Friday prayers from Intercessors for Israel stated: ‘There has been much spoken and written about the possibility of a ceasefire agreement being made between Hamas and Israel. Only the Lord knows for sure whether it is the right time for such a deal. Lord, we want Your plans to be put in place rather than any plans of men. Isaiah 55:8 says, “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways, says the Lord”.’ Their prayers asked God to ‘invade’ the meetings of Israel’s leaders - Netanyahu, Liberman and Eizenkott - so that they might know God’s wisdom. They also asked God to reveal any deception in these negotiations according to Proverbs 26:26: ‘The Lord brings the counsel of the nations to nothing; He makes the plans of the peoples of no effect.’
On 7 June, president Ashraf Ghani announced a ceasefire with Taliban insurgents until 20 June, coinciding with the end of Ramadan, but said fighting against IS will continue. He added that the ceasefire is an opportunity for the Taliban to realise that their violent campaign is not winning hearts and minds but further alienating people. He recently offered to recognise the Taliban as a legitimate political group, in a proposed political process that he said could lead to ending more than sixteen years of war. At that time he proposed a ceasefire, releasing prisoners, new elections involving the militants, and a constitutional review in a pact with the Taliban, to end a conflict that last year alone killed or wounded over 10,000 Afghan civilians.