“Russian President Vladimir Putin was given a royal welcome on his first official visit to the Palestinian territories Tuesday,” reports the Times of Israel. “Arriving in Bethlehem, Putin visited the Church of the Nativity and inaugurated a Russian cultural center. Palestinian media was jubilant at the visit, calling it ‘historic’ and dubbing the Russian leader ‘the great guest of Palestine.’ A main road in Bethlehem was even named ‘Putin’ to commemorate the visit, the Palestinian news agency Maan reported. Putin’s visit to the Palestinian territories comes at a particularly tense time in relations between Russia and the Arab world. Reports of Russian military support for the Syrian government crackdown are being highlighted in Arab media, and Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States have been increasingly vocal during the past few weeks in condemning Russia. Worldwide demonstrations outside Russian embassies took place on June 13. Syrians have been burning the Russian flag in protest against Russia’s support for President Bashar Assad.”
The Jerusalem Post reports that Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas is calling for a peace conference in Moscow even as Putin praised Abbas for “behaving responsibly to achieve peace based on the two-state solution.” It’s not clear why Putin regards Abbas rejecting direct peace talks with Netanyahu or allowing Palestinians in Gaza to fire more than 150 rockets and mortars at southern Israel last week constitutes “behaving responsibly.”
Please pray for the Lord to show great love and mercy to the Palestinian people. Please pray especially for Palestinians who follow Jesus Christ and live in very difficult circumstances in the Holy Land.