Israel backs down on plans to annex large chunks of Palestinian land

Palestine (MNN) — On July 1st, Israel was set to annex more land from the West Bank. However, the day and the whole month passed without an announcement. What happened?

The EU showed strong opposition to the plan, and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson even penned an article warning against the move. Many in Israel don’t even support the plan.

But Yousef AlKhouri of Bethlehem Bible College says that doesn’t mean annexation won’t take place. “Every single day, we watch the news and we learn about Israeli settlers and the Israeli government taking a few acres here on there from the West Bank in order to expand settlements. In the Bethlehem area only two days or three days ago, the Israeli government approved building a few hundreds of houses in a settlement on a Palestinian owned land.”

A photo showing Palestinians in the 1920s. (Photo courtesy of Bethlehem Bible College on Facebook)

Effects of annexation on Palestinians

In addition, Israeli soldiers demolished a checkpoint used for COVID-19 testing in the area around Hebron, which has become a COVID-19 epicenter in the region. AlKhouri says the ongoing annexation is one of the biggest obstacles to Palestine fighting COVID-19.

AlKhouri also says Palestinian Christians don’t take much comfort from the EU’s pushback to the annexation plans. “We’ve lost hope in political systems around the world that sometimes support Palestinians or support Israelis. They don’t get us anywhere. For the last 72 years, those systems didn’t help us to get peace or to establish our own statehood in the Palestinian land, according to the protection plan of 1947. As a Palestinian, we live day to day trusting that the next day will be better than today.”

In fact, AlKhouri says 36% of Christians in Palestine are now considering immigrating away from the country out of concern for their safety and the ineffective political system that would protect them.

How to Pray

Image showing Dr. Munther Isaac’s book. (Photo courtesy of Bethlehem Bible College on Facebook)

AlKhouri asks Christians to pray that their brothers and sisters in Palestine would be safe and would be the salt and light of Christ in the land

He also encourages Christians to take action. “I know at this time, it’s hard to come see our situation. But God willing, the situation will be better and people would be able to come and visit us. Come visit us, see us, listen to your stories. And if you can’t, please try to learn as much as you could read as much about Palestinian-Israeli conflict. And read about Palestinian Christians.”

AlKhouri recommends a book published by Bethlehem Bible College Academic Dean Dr. Munther Isaac called The Other Side of the Wall.

Pray also as Bethlehem Bible College expands its online ministry, taking on students from around the world. AlKhouri says, “We have students who started studying with us through online programs from North Africa, Europe, Muslim countries, North America, and all over the globe. So please pray for us as we aim to proclaim the good news and to be the good news for people in Palestine and all around the world.”

The header image is courtesy of Bethlehem bible College on Facebook.

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