Church and aid workers warn that the situation in Gaza is deteriorating as Israelis and Palestinians continue to face off, more than two weeks after Israel cut off the electric power supply after Palestinian missile attacks.
Supporters of Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) and On Earth Peace, an agency of the US Church of the Brethren, have visited the West Bank and Israel to explore civil society responses to conflict, security and community.
CURE International, a US-based Christian medical charity which operates teaching hospitals throughout the developing world, yesterday announced plans to open a $16.5 million state-of-the-art medical training centre and hospital in Bethlehem, Palestine.
Peace and human rights campaigners have welcomed the decision by Israel's Supreme Court to redraw a small portion of the route of the partition wall around the West Bank, where villagers had argued that the barrier prevented them from reaching 50% of their agricultural land.
With global attention focussing on news of BBC journalist Alan Johnston's release from captivity in Gaza, a leading church agency says it is time to end the isolation of the Palestinian authority if peace is to be possible.
Doing justice to the Palestinian people will bring about security for Israel too, a global church conference has heard. There were appeals to end the illegal occupation of Palestinian land and to combat anti-Semitism too.
The general secretary of the World Council of Churches (WCC), the Rev Dr Samuel Kobia, plans to visit member churches and Christian communities in the strife-ridden occupied Palestinian territories and Israel.
Fighting between the Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah in the Gaza Strip has highlighted the urgent need for the international community to end the isolation and blockade on the Palestinian government, say churches and NGOs.