National Catholic Reporter

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Amman, Jordan

Gazans, aid workers wait to see if truce will be renewed

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Humanitarians and the people of the Gaza Strip are apprehensive about whether there will be a renewal of the truce between Israel and the militant Hamas, said a U.S. Catholic aid official.

"There's a lot of hope that the airstrikes and rockets will not start again after Tuesday midnight because of such a traumatic, terrible month," said Matthew McGarry, who directs the Catholic Relief Services' operations in Gaza, the West Bank and Jerusalem.

Iraqis in Jordan go to the polls, hoping for stability at home

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A steady stream of Iraqi refugees, smiling and displaying purple index fingers, emerged from a polling station in the Hashemi Shamali district, where the majority of these urban refugees live in the Jordanian capital.

"Change is badly needed in Iraq. Hopefully the elections will yield a suitable leader. God is gracious," said Um Martin, a Chaldean Catholic woman from the biblical city of Ninevah in northern Iraq.

Jerusalem's Latin patriarch hopes pope's May visit is 'cry for peace'

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Latin Patriarch Fouad Twal of Jerusalem welcomed the announcement of Pope Francis' May visit to the Holy Land and said he hopes the pilgrimage will be a "cry for peace," particularly for Palestinians, Israelis, Syrians and others beset by conflict.

Pope Francis announced his first trip as pontiff to the Holy Land, May 24-26, during his weekly blessing Sunday in Vatican City. His visit to Jordan, Israel and the Palestinian territories is planned to mark the 50th anniversary of the historic visit by Pope Paul VI to the Holy Land in 1964.

Jordanian priest: Superpowers must find political resolution in Syria

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A priest with strong interfaith ties in the Middle East said the global superpowers must find a political resolution to the Syrian civil war and humanitarian crisis but cautioned any armed intervention would result in longer-term instability.

"What we need is for the Americans to work with the Iranians and the Russians to find a political solution; otherwise, we will have another Iraq or Afghanistan," Fr. Nabil Haddad, director of the Jordanian Interfaith Coexistence Research Center, told 12 U.S. Christian writers and bloggers.

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August 15-28, 2014

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